(PORTLAND, OR) November 4, 2021 – Medical Teams International is grateful to the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) for its award of $3.5 million USD to support Medical Teams’ ongoing work to provide comprehensive and timely medical care to refugees and host populations in Uganda.
Uganda is now the 3rd top refugee hosting nation in the world. As of August 31, 2021, there were 1,503,601 refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda and other countries. Due to the ever-increasing influx of refugees, the Uganda national health system is overwhelmed, with understaffing of medical professionals and inadequate equipment and supplies at facilities. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also poses an additional health threat.
This PRM funding will support primary healthcare activities, operations support, and program management under all Medical Teams program areas in Uganda, including COVID-19 mitigation and treatment activities. These life-saving programs include comprehensive maternal care, mental health, nutrition services and rehabilitation services. The award also includes funding for the procurement of three ambulances and the construction and rehabilitation of staff housing and clinic buildings.
Medical Teams currently reaches a population of more than 1,000,000 refugees and host Ugandans. The award will include a partnership with Humanity and Inclusion (HI) and Tutapona, who will provide mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) into an integrated health program. This is the first year of a three-year project, with COVID-19 specific funding in year one.
The PRM funding is supplemental and complementary to Medical Teams’ existing partnership and funding from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), CORE Group and World Food Programme (WFP) funding. The proposed activities complement the UNHCR scope.
“Over the last sixteen years Medical Teams Uganda has become a trusted partner of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with a reputation for delivering quality primary health care and rapid response solutions to emergencies and influxes of displaced people. We continue to support the promotion of the Ugandan Government’s sustainable localisation priority through the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and Health Sector Integrated Refugee Response Plan (HSIRRP),” shares Uganda Country Director Daryl Crowden. “But the impact we have, and the reputation we have built, only exists because of the continued trust and support of donors like BPRM. We are grateful for this ongoing partnership and the opportunity it provides us to continue to provide protection-sensitive health and nutrition services as well as support emergency preparedness and response.”
Medical Teams began operation as a non-governmental organization in Northern Uganda in 2004 during the time of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency. During this time, Medical Teams provided for the basic health needs of displaced populations and returned communities in collaboration with local health staff, volunteer Community Health Workers, and expatriate medical volunteers. Medical Teams Uganda has since transformed programming to focus on providing life-saving primary health care to refugees and vulnerable host national populations in both sudden onset and protracted emergency contexts.
Medical Teams is a fully registered non-governmental organization in Uganda and operates in West Nile, Southwest, and Western regions of Uganda. Since 2009, institutional funding through partnerships with UNHCR, Uganda OPM, PRM, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped Medical Teams implement more than $38 million USD of primary health care programs, HIV and AIDS education and testing, child and maternal health, malaria prevention and treatment, and emergency response programs for refugee and displaced populations throughout Uganda.
About Medical Teams International
Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.